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If You Like Buster Posey, Try Miguel Montero

Ever notice that sometimes the Aldi brand tastes just as good as the name brand, at a fraction of the price?  In my new "If you like..." series, we're looking for that kind of value in fantasy drafts.  Today, I suggest that if you like Buster Posey, try Miguel Montero at catcher.

Posey currently has a 59.55 average draft position at Mock Draft Central, while Montero is at 102.42.  Think of the players you could take instead of Posey in the fifth or sixth round -- Matt Cain, Stephen Strasburg, James Shields, Pablo Sandoval, Mat Latos, and Madison Bumgarner, to name a few.

Posey, of course, unfortunately took a big hit at home plate in late May last year from the Marlins' Scott Cousins.  He endured a broken fibula and severely strained ligaments in his left ankle, and the surgery ended his 2011 season.  The latest word is that he's on track to be the Giants' Opening Day catcher, and will play first base at least once a week.  But with a 24-year-old potential superstar who is under team control through 2016, the Giants have every reason to be cautious with Posey in 2012.  First base appearances will help keep his ABs up, but he's probably going to need more days off.  Projection systems, which generally assume no dropoff in performance after an injury like this, call for around .280-16-65-60-3 if Posey is to get 475 ABs.  Are you comfortable projecting more ABs than that and assuming no rust from the injury and time off?

Then there's Montero, who had a big year for the 2011 Diamondbacks.  He set a career high with 140 games, and entering a contract year has every reason to push himself for a repeat.  But if we cautiously reduce his 493 AB total to, say, 460, we get something like .277-17-70-59-1.  Aside from Posey's potential first base eligibility, it's entirely possible the two players are very similar in value in 2012.  Even if Montero brings 75% of Posey's value, isn't that worth taking him 43 picks later?

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